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    California Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: SB800 (codified as Civil Code §§895, et seq) is the most far-reaching, complex law regulating construction defect litigation, right to repair, warranty obligations and maintenance requirements transference in the country. In essence, to afford protection against frivolous lawsuits, builders shall do all the following:A homeowner is obligated to follow all reasonable maintenance obligations and schedules communicated in writing to the homeowner by the builder and product manufacturers, as well as commonly accepted maintenance practices. A failure by a homeowner to follow these obligations, schedules, and practices may subject the homeowner to the affirmative defenses.A builder, under the principles of comparative fault pertaining to affirmative defenses, may be excused, in whole or in part, from any obligation, damage, loss, or liability if the builder can demonstrate any of the following affirmative defenses in response to a claimed violation:


    Construction Expert Witness Contractors Licensing
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    Commercial and Residential Contractors License Required.


    Construction Expert Witness Contractors Building Industry
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    Building Industry Association Southern California - Desert Chapter
    Local # 0532
    77570 Springfield Ln Ste E
    Palm Desert, CA 92211
    http://www.desertchapter.com

    Building Industry Association Southern California - Riverside County Chapter
    Local # 0532
    3891 11th St Ste 312
    Riverside, CA 92501


    Building Industry Association Southern California
    Local # 0532
    17744 Sky Park Circle Suite 170
    Irvine, CA 92614
    http://www.biasc.org

    Building Industry Association Southern California - Orange County Chapter
    Local # 0532
    17744 Skypark Cir Ste 170
    Irvine, CA 92614
    http://www.biaoc.com

    Building Industry Association Southern California - Baldy View Chapter
    Local # 0532
    8711 Monroe Ct Ste B
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
    http://www.biabuild.com

    Building Industry Association Southern California - LA/Ventura Chapter
    Local # 0532
    28460 Ave Stanford Ste 240
    Santa Clarita, CA 91355


    Building Industry Association Southern California - Building Industry Association of S Ca Antelope Valley
    Local # 0532
    44404 16th St W Suite 107
    Lancaster, CA 93535



    Construction Expert Witness News and Information
    For Anaheim California

    Dispute Over Exhaustion of Primary Policy

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    Introducing Nomos LLP!

    2013 May Be Bay Area’s Best Year for Commercial Building

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    Court Upholds Denial of Collapse Coverage Where Building Still Stands

    The Evolution of Construction Defect Trends at West Coast Casualty Seminar

    U.S. Homeowners Are Lingering Longer, and the Wait Is Paying Off
    Corporate Profile

    ANAHEIM CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTION EXPERT WITNESS
    DIRECTORY AND CAPABILITIES

    Leveraging from approximately 5000 construction related expert witness designations, the Anaheim, California Construction Expert Directory provides a wide range of trial support and construction consulting services to lawyers and construction practice groups seeking effective resolution of construction defect and claims matters. BHA provides construction related trial support and expert consulting services to the nation's most recognized builders, risk managers, legal professionals, owners, state and local government agencies. In connection with regional assets which comprise testifying architects, design engineers, construction cost and standard of care experts, licensed general and specialty contractors, the firm brings regional experience and flexible capabilities to the Anaheim construction industry.

    Anaheim California expert witness commercial buildingsAnaheim California hospital construction expert witnessAnaheim California building envelope expert witnessAnaheim California expert witness roofingAnaheim California architect expert witnessAnaheim California soil failure expert witnessAnaheim California civil engineering expert witness
    Construction Expert Witness News & Info
    Anaheim, California

    Update: Lawyers Can Be Bound to Confidentiality Provision in Settlement Agreement

    January 13, 2020 —
    In July 2019, the California Supreme Court ruled that an attorney’s signature under the often-used phrase “approved as to form and content” does not preclude a finding that the attorney could be bound to the terms of a settlement agreement. (Monster Energy Co. v. Schechter (2019) 7 Cal.5th 781.) This decision marks a reversal of the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s 2018 ruling that approval of a contract is not tantamount to an agreement to be bound by that contract. The underlying action stemmed out of a wrongful death suit by Wendy Crossland and Richard Fournier, parents of the decedent, against Monster Energy Company. The parties negotiated a settlement, a critical of element of which was a confidentiality provision aimed at keeping the the settlement secret. The confidentiality provision prohibited plaintiffs and their counsel of record from disclosing both the existence of the settlement, or the terms thereof, to any person, entity, or publication, including the legal website Lawyers & Settlements. The attorneys signed the agreement under the phrase “approved as to form and content.” Shortly after the settlement agreement was executed, the Plaintiffs’ attorney Bruce Schechter disclosed his clients’ settlement with Monster in an interview with Lawyers & Settlements. Monster filed suit against Mr. Schechter for breach of contract, among other causes of action. Mr. Schechter challenged the lawsuit with a SLAPP motion, essentially arguing that the lawsuit was meritless and merely an attempt to thwart freedom of speech. The trial court denied Mr. Schechter’s motion as to the breach of contract cause of action finding that the settlement clearly contemplated that the attorneys were subjected to the terms of the agreement, and Schechter’s claim that he was not a party because he merely approved as to form and content was “beyond reason.” The Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed, concluding that Mr. Schechter was not a party to the agreement by virtue of his signature approving the form and content, and the Plaintiffs had no authority to bind their attorney to the terms of the agreement. The Court of Appeal found that by affixing his signature to the agreement Mr. Schechter was merely manifesting his “professional thumbs up” in line with legal industry’s customary understanding. In its reversal, the California Supreme Court did not disturb the legal community’s understanding of the phrase “approved as to form and content.” Rather, the Court concluded that an attorney’s signature under that often-used phrase does not preclude as a matter of law that the attorney intended to be bound by the agreement. The entire agreement, including the substantive provisions, need to be examined to determine the attorney’s intent in affixing his/her signature to the agreement. Turning to the Crossland/Fournier Monster settlement agreement, the Court was unpersuaded by Mr. Schechter’s argument that he was not bound to the agreement because counsel was not included in the definition of “party”. The Court stated that it’s the substance of the agreement that determines whether counsel is a party to the contract, as opposed to a party to the lawsuit. The Court was persuaded, in part, by the important role that confidentiality plays in brokering settlements. It noted that public disclosure of private settlements would serve to “chill” parties’ ability to resolve matters short of trial, and there was little doubt that confidentiality was an important term of the Crossland/Fournier Monster settlement. In concluding that Monster had met its burden to defeat an anti-SLAPP motion, the Court pointed to the numerous references to counsel in the substantive provisions of the agreement which a trier of fact could conclude bound Mr. Schechter to the confidentiality terms. Danielle Ward has concentrated her law practice on defending developer, general contractor, and subcontractor clients in a variety of construction matters. She has been an attorney with Balestreri Potocki & Holmes since 2010 and can be reached at dward@bph-law.com. Read the court decision
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    Insurer Must Pay for Matching Siding of Insured's Buildings

    December 02, 2019 —
    The Seventh Circuit found that the insurer was obligated to pay for siding of a building that was not damaged by hail so that it matched the replaced damaged portions of the siding. Windridge of Naperville Condominium Association v. Philadelphia Indem. Ins. Co., 2019 U.S. App. 23607 (7th Cir. Aug. 7, 2019). A hail and wind storm damaged buildings owned by Windridge. The storm physically damaged the aluminum siding on the buildings' sought and west sides. Philadelphia Indemnity, Windridge's insurer, contended that it was only required to replace the siding on those sides. Windridge argued that replacement siding that matched the undamaged north and east elevations was no longer available, so Philadelphia had to replace the siding on all four sides of the buildings to that all of the siding matched. Windridge sued and moved for summary judgment. The district court ruled that matching was required. The only sensible result was to treat the damage as having occurred to the building's siding as a whole. The policy was a replacement-cost policy. Philadelphia promised to "pay for direct physical 'loss' to 'Covered Property' caused by or resulting from" the storm, with the amount of loss being "the cost to replace the lost or damaged property with other property . . . of comparable material and quality . . . and . . . used for the same purpose." The loss payment provision offered four different measures for loss, leaving Philadelphia free to choose the least expensive: (1) pay the value of the lost or damaged property; (2) pay the cost of repairing or replacing the lost or damaged property; (3) take all or any part of the property at an agreed or appraised value; or (4) repair, rebuild or replace the property with other property of like kind and quality. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at te@hawaiilawyer.com

    Another Reason to Always Respond (or Hensel Phelps Wins One!)

    September 16, 2019 —
    Here at Construction Law Musings, Hensel Phelps Construction Co. is best known as the company that got whipsawed between indemnity rules and the lack of a statute of limitations for state agencies. However a recent case out of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia gave them a win and illustrates, once again, that failing to appear or respond is never a good option. In Hensel Phelps Construction Co. v. Perdomo Industrial LLC, the Alexandria, VA federal court looked at an arbitration award entered for Hensel Phelps and against Perdomo under the Federal Arbitration Act. The facts of the case showed that Perdomo “double dipped” into the deep end of refusal or failure to respond. First of all, the contract required arbitration and any award was enforceable in any state or federal court having jurisdiction. Based upon this language, Hensel Phelps filed a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association against Perdomo and its surety, AAA sent notice to both Perdomo and Surety, and. . . neither responded or appeared at what was ultimately 8 days of hearings. After hearing Hensel Phelp’s evidence and the total lack of defenses from Perdomo and Surety, the panel issued an award in favor of Hensel Phelps, finding Perdomo LLC in default and holding Perdomo LLC and Allied World jointly and severally liable in the amount of $2,958,209.71 and Perdomo LLC individually liable in the amount of $7,917,666.30 plus interest. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at chrisghill@constructionlawva.com

    The Importance of Preliminary Notices on Private Works Projects

    September 03, 2019 —
    Time and time again I receive calls from subcontractors and suppliers who find themselves faced with a customer who is either unwilling or unable to pay for labor or materials supplied for a private works project. As an attorney, the first question I usually ask is “did you serve a Preliminary Notice?” The second question I usually ask is “did you serve the Notice within twenty (20) days after first furnishing labor, service, equipment or materials to the job site?” The answers to these questions will often determine the ability to collect on the claim. The excuses for failing to serve the Preliminary Notice range from “for the last ten years the customer has always paid on time” to “I didn’t want to imply the contractor was not going to pay me” to “it is too much trouble to do on every job” or, simply, “I forgot”. Contractors and suppliers are well advised that any subcontractor or supplier who fails to properly and timely serve a Preliminary Notice is depriving itself of the most powerful tool available for compelling payment of construction related debt on a private works project. For all but the smallest contracts failure to serve the Preliminary Notice is also a violation of contractors’ license law and constitutes grounds for discipline by the Contractor State License Board, up to and including suspension of the contractor’s license. Most of these rules are found in California Civil Code Section 8200-8216. The requirements of these sections are far too numerous to itemize here. Suffice it to say every contractor, subcontractor and construction material supplier to private construction projects should be familiar with these sections of the California Civil Code. They set forth most of the rules which relate to Preliminary Notices on private construction projects. Some of the most important features are as follows: Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of William L. Porter, Porter Law Group
    Mr. Porter may be contacted at bporter@porterlaw.com

    In South Carolina, Insurer's Denial of Liability Does Not Waive Attorney-Client Privilege for Bad Faith Claim

    October 14, 2019 —
    Determining the scope of discovery can be challenging, particularly when an insurance bad faith claim is involved. Courts often face the difficult decision of weighing the importance of preserving attorney-client privilege with the public policy rationale of protecting an insured against their insurer’s bad faith behavior. The Supreme Court of South Carolina recently recognized this dilemma by rejecting a hardline approach to bad faith discovery disputes and adopting a case-by-case analysis. The case, In re Mt. Hawley Ins. Co.,1 arose out of a construction defect claim. ContraVest Construction Company (“ContraVest”) constructed a development in South Carolina and was later sued for alleged defective construction. ContraVest sought coverage for the lawsuit from its insurers, including Mount Hawley Insurance Company (“Mount Hawley”), which had provided excess commercial liability insurance to ContraVest during the relevant timeframe. Mount Hawley denied the claim, which prompted ContraVest to sue it for bad faith, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. Reprinted courtesy of Ashley L. Cooper, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. and Bethany L. Barrese, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. Ms. Cooper may be contacted at alc@sdvlaw.com Ms. Barrese may be contacted at blb@sdvlaw.com Read the court decision
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    The Murky Waters Between "Good Faith" and "Bad Faith"

    September 30, 2019 —
    In honor of Shark Week, that annual television-event where we eagerly flip on the Discovery Channel to get our fix of these magnificent (and terrifying!) creatures, I was inspired to write about the “predatory” practices we’ve encountered recently in our construction insurance practice. The more sophisticated the business and risk management department is, the more likely they have a sophisticated insurer writing their coverage. Although peaceful coexistence is possible, that doesn’t mean that insurers won’t use every advantage available to them – compared to even large corporate insureds, insurance companies are the apex predators of the insurance industry. In order to safeguard policyholders’ interests, most states have developed a body of law (some statutory, some based on judicial decisions) requiring insurers to act in good faith when dealing with their insureds. This is typically embodied as a requirement that the insurer act “fairly and reasonably” in processing, investigating, and handling claims. If the insurer does not meet this standard, insureds may be entitled to damages above and beyond that which they could otherwise recover for breach of contract. Proving that an insurer acted in “bad faith,” however, can be like swimming against the riptide. Most states hold that bad faith requires more than just a difference of opinion between insured and insurer over the available coverage – the policyholder must show that the insurer acted “wantonly” or “maliciously,” or, in less stringent jurisdictions, that the insurer was “unreasonable.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Theresa A. Guertin, Saxe Doernberger & Vita
    Ms. Guertin may be contacted at tag@sdvlaw.com

    Insurer Must Defend Additional Insured Though Its Insured is a Non-Party

    November 18, 2019 —
    The plaintiff insurer's motion for partial summary judgment seeking an order that defendant insurer was obligated to defend a non-party as an additional insured was granted. Am Empire Surplus Lines Ins. Co. v. Burlington Ins. Co., 2019 N. Y. Misc. LEXIS 4145 (N. Y. Sup. Ct. July 25, 2019). Quality Building Construction, LLC was the contractor hired to work on exterior facade of a building owned by Central Park West Corporation. The underlying complaint alleged that Quality caused plastic spacers and pedestals used for the penthouse terrace to fall down the roof drain riser. A clog and rainwater backup resulted in water damage to apartment 8A. The resulting damage was allegedly due to the clogged roof drain riser. Quality subcontracted the work to Mega State, Inc. The subcontract required Mega to indemnify and hold Quality harmless against claims in connection with Mega's work, as well as name Quality as an additional insured on a primary, non-contributory bases under Mega's CGL policy. Burlington issued a policy to Mega naming Quality as an additional insured. American Empire issued a CGL policy to Quality. Quality was sued in the underlying action, but Mega was not. American Empire tendered a demand for coverage to Mega and Burlington, relying on the agreement between Quality and Mega. Burlington responded that Mega was not liable for the alleged damages. American Empire sued Burlington. Subsequently, Burlington accepted the tender to defend Quality in the underlying action, and reserved rights as to whether Burlington's policy was primary and on the question of indemnification. American Empire agreed to withdraw its suit if Burlington would modify its reservation of rights. Burlington refused. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at te@hawaiilawyer.com

    Newmeyer Dillion Announces Partner John Van Vlear Named to Board Of Groundwater Resources Association Of California

    January 13, 2020 —
    Prominent Orange County-based law firm Newmeyer Dillion is pleased to announce that partner John Van Vlear has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Groundwater Resources Association of California (GRA). He will serve a three year term effective immediately. "It was an honor to be nominated and I'm excited to help further GRA's goal of remaining the preeminent professional organization in the West addressing timely and important groundwater issues," says Van Vlear. He has been a member of the GRA for five years and has spoken both at a Southern California branch event and the 2nd Annual Western Groundwater Congress in Sacramento. Serving on the GRA Board will be Van Vlear's fourth different lifetime non-profit Board volunteer effort. He joins a diverse group of members to complete the Board, including a hydrologist with the US Geological Survey, environmental and engineering consultants, an equipment manufacturer, and water agencies' managers. Van Vlear's practice focuses on all aspects of "contaminated sites" environmental legal work. Applying technical acumen, he focuses on investigation, strategic analysis, and remediation for site acquisitions/sales, development, regulatory interface, and related litigation in federal and state courts. He represents clients before a wide range of environmental agencies and has a portfolio of projects that include: commercial, industrial, raw land, and residential, as well as specialty facilities such as affordable housing, oil fields, and landfills throughout California and across the country. These matters have involved a complex blend of soil, groundwater, and vapor contamination. Van Vlear is a frequent speaker on environmental, real estate and contamination topics, as well as being a professional author and novelist, an expert witness, and arbitrator on environmental issues. He has been interviewed on TV twice professionally and has testified before the California Senate subcommittee on Environmental Quality. Established in 1992, the GRA is a 1,000 member state-wide professional organization dedicated to resource management that protects and improves groundwater supply and quality through education and technical leadership. The GRA hosts programs and webinars focusing on important issues to water management community at both the state-wide and regional branch levels. About Newmeyer Dillion For 35 years, Newmeyer Dillion has delivered creative and outstanding legal solutions and trial results that achieve client objectives in diverse industries. With over 70 attorneys working as a cohesive team to represent clients in all aspects of business, employment, real estate, environmental/land use, privacy & data security and insurance law, Newmeyer Dillion delivers holistic and integrated legal services tailored to propel each client's success and bottom line. Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, with offices in Walnut Creek, California and Las Vegas, Nevada, Newmeyer Dillion attorneys are recognized by The Best Lawyers in America©, and Super Lawyers as top tier and some of the best lawyers in California and Nevada, and have been given Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review's AV Preeminent® highest rating. For additional information, call 949.854.7000 or visit www.newmeyerdillion.com. Read the court decision
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